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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Cosmo's "corn allergy" seemed to flare up a ton in the past couple days and it had me worried, so I went to the vet today for our scheduled appointment and our full exam. I always call ahead of time to figure out how much money it will cost because I never carry money on me. She said if worst came to worst and he had a flea allergy, the total would be 50-60 dollars. Which is fine! I went ahead and pulled out 70 just to be safe and I went over for my appointment.

While he is allergic to corn, I wanted him to get checked out for a flea allergy because lately I have been fairly certain about that due to the similarities between spots I've seen in pictures and his spots. He got the exam and all that jazz, and when the doctor (who wasn't our regular one which I was a bit upset about but whatever) came back he confirmed it was definitely a flea allergy.

He didn't tell me much else except they couldn't find many fleas on him and the flare up was probably because they're in the environment and he's sensitive to the little fleas we have around, and asked me to wait in the lobby for his monthly oral flea treatment which he's due for, and so I could pay for it and the exam. I was a bit disappointed because he exited in a hurry and I wanted to ask if I could pick up some kind of medicine that would help with the allergic reaction he has, or get a shot or something.

Since he ran out so fast I decided to just ask the receptionist lady after I paid if I could get some allergy relief medicine and how much it would be, however when she gave me my bill it was 113 dollars! Which is well over the 50-60 dollar range I was given and definitely over the 70 dollars I had with me. I asked to look at the receipt and asked why it was so expensive, and it turns out not only was the exam more expensive than I was told, but they gave him a steroid shot for the itching without asking or even telling me. I would have been fine paying it but I would have had to come back and pull more out of my bank if it was over the 70 dollars I had which it ended up being. Not only that, but they tacked on some flea spray for my house which I don't need, because I have my own product that I trust and can use on my house and it was really expensive stuff. They also gave me two doses of the oral treatment instead of one, but they're once a month and I've always come in and gotten them once a month so I don't know why they did that.

I was so frustrated that I made her refund the spray and the other oral treatment that I wasn't going to need for a month. I also asked that she make a note in my chart to make sure I am aware of everything that's happening to my dog and the price it's going to be.

Oh! And on top of that I still didn't have enough because I can't just take back the shot they gave him, so I had to call my grandpa and have him let me borrow some money because refunding the spray and capsule wasn't enough. He had to get out of bed, get dressed, and give me 20 dollars. UGH!

Is this normal?? I'm so irritated I've never had such a bad experience!
 

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Not normal at all normal. I think a vet's duty is to tell you what they are doing with your dog, what they are giving your dog ect.. If they want you to consider getting something they need to talk it over with you first. That's like a child sneaking thinks in a mother's shopping cart!

Maybe it's time for a new vet? That's your choice though..
 

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I don't know if it's normal but I sure would be mad. Call and ask to speak to the practice's office manager and tell that person what happened. You should get an exact estimate and be told exactly what your dog will be receiving, beforehand.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not normal at all normal. I think a vet's duty is to tell you what they are doing with your dog, what they are giving your dog ect.. If they want you to consider getting something they need to talk it over with you first. That's like a child sneaking thinks in a mother's shopping cart!

Maybe it's time for a new vet? That's your choice though..
That's what I was thinking! I'm moving really soon so it doesn't really matter where I go in the meantime but I might have to take my puppy and money elsewhere :/ I don't want people just injecting him left and right without telling me!
 

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Don't be so tight with money. What's the difference between $60 or $113 when it comes to your dogs health. If you don't like your vet, find a new one. Yeez.
 

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I think the problem was that she pulled that much out and didn't have more with her at the time.

I have several bank accounts (savings and checking) and I often have to move money between them, so it is nice to know beforehand what to expect.

I actually LOVE my vet but sometimes their staff is hit or miss.
 

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I'd have been upset, not that it cost a bit more, I'm always prepared for that, but that it cost double the amount that they quoted me. The fact that he tacked onto the bill extra stuff that I never asked for for and gave my dog a shot without letting me know would have finished it off.
 

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I would be irate. Not really about the money but if someone gave my dog medication without my permission first - we'll we would be having a less than polite discussion on the matter.

Plus I think it is kind of shady to just start charging you for stuff and expecting it to be okay.

If you haven't asked me and I haven't agreed to pay for something, I'm not gonna pay for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Don't be so tight with money. What's the difference between $60 or $113 when it comes to your dogs health. If you don't like your vet, find a new one. Yeez.
If she told me it was going to be in the 500 dollar range I wouldn't have minded if it was for his health. I'm mad because they overcharged me from what they quoted me by about twice as much as they initially told me. I don't carry my money around its all in my savings account so I don't spend it on little things and I have some locked up for emergencies like this because I'm trying to move to seattle. YEEZ.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I don't mind at all having the shot if it's what he needs but I don't even know the name of it, the side effects, or if there were other options I could have taken if I didn't like the side effects (which I don't even know!) I just didn't know anything they did it during the examination and they didn't let me go back with him because they said dogs do better away from their owners sometimes (he's really stranger shy) and he said he did better back there but I kind of have a hard time believing that. And then he didn't even tell me he gave him a shot the receptionist told me after I was shocked by the additional charges.

And then he just slipped in a weird spray?? It costed 21 dollars! I don't even know the brand. I'm not just going to toss away 21 dollars on some spray I've never heard of. I'm the type of person that looks up reviews of stuff like that before I buy.
 

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I'm a veterinary receptionist and it's hard to give an exact quote over the phone. If you were our client, all I could quote for would be the exam, as I could not be 100% on the medication/treatment plan of the doctor. Normally I suggest for owner's of sick pets to prepare for the exam cost and possibly $30-$50 additional depending on medication required.

That being said, I would have a serious talk with the doctor and office manager. It is their duty in the room to talk with you and lay out the plan before treating/charging for anything. At the very least they should apologize and offer a refund of the steroid injection that they gave your pet without your consent. I'd also discuss how they determined he has a flea allergy without having fleas on him...something seems off with that statement:ponder: Did they do a blood test without your consent? A skin allergy test? How did they determine it was fleas? Steroids are the normal course, but it needs to be discussed as they can have side effects. Also did he lay out a long term plan if this happens again?

Also I would have a HUGE issue with not being there for at least the initial exam.

I'll also add, at least at my clinic, if you don't request a specific vet when booking then your more than likely going to get whichever one that is available at the time. If you want a specific vet to treat your pet, then you need to make them aware, as that specific doctor may have another appointment at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm a veterinary receptionist and it's hard to give an exact quote over the phone. If you were our client, all I could quote for would be the exam, as I could not be 100% on the medication/treatment plan of the doctor. Normally I suggest for owner's of sick pets to prepare for the exam cost and possibly $30-$50 additional depending on medication required.

That being said, I would have a serious talk with the doctor and office manager. It is their duty in the room to talk with you and lay out the plan before treating/charging for anything. At the very least they should apologize and offer a refund of the steroid injection that they gave your pet without your consent. I'd also discuss how they determined he has a flea allergy without having fleas on him...something seems off with that statement:ponder: Did they do a blood test without your consent? A skin allergy test? How did they determine it was fleas? Steroids are the normal course, but it needs to be discussed as they can have side effects. Also did he lay out a long term plan if this happens again?

Also I would have a HUGE issue with not being there for at least the initial exam.

I'll also add, at least at my clinic, if you don't request a specific vet when booking then your more than likely going to get whichever one that is available at the time. If you want a specific vet to treat your pet, then you need to make them aware, as that specific doctor may have another appointment at that time.
I have no idea if they did any other tests but they didn't charge me or tell me if they did and it happened within maybe 15-20 minutes. He just told me he "definitely" has a flea allergy. He didn't discuss anything else with me and left fairly promptly. I understand a quote may not end up being what I expected in the end but it would be nice and common courtesy to at least tell me before they do irreversible things like injections. I have no idea what to do if it doesn't work and I don't know if I should be watching for any side effects. He seems to be itching less today so that's a good sign. I'm glad he got it if he needed it but I'm mad they did it behind my back.

This happened before where they didn't let me go back for the exam and I thought that was normal? I don't know why he would be better without me but that's what they always told me.
 

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This happened before where they didn't let me go back for the exam and I thought that was normal? I don't know why he would be better without me but that's what they always told me.
They do sometimes do a more thorough exam in the back away from owners because sometimes the dogs feed off of the owner's fear/stress/anxiety etc. I'm fine with this, however they should have done an initial exam with you - to allow you to voice your concerns. Took him to the back for a more thorough exam, then brought him and you back into the exam room to go over the treatment options once he has been examined. A vet that doesn't do this doesn't have my trust.

I'm glad to hear he's less itchy today, hopefully he'll be feeling 100% in no time:thumbsup:
 

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I would be absolutely fuming that the vet had injected my dog without asking or telling me.

When we took Raiden for his first check up and vaccination, the vet got a kennel cough vaccine ready to give him (which we had already decided we didn't want him to have), and only when we asked what it was could we say 'no we don't want that.' The vet then went to microchip Rey, again without telling us what he was doing, even though we had already discussed and decided with the vet nurse to chip Rey on his third puppy visit.

At our surgery, all the staff except the vet we use range from truly awful to meh...but our vet is fantastic, and that's why we go. We recently took Rey in to ask questions about his neuter and she was fine with us letting him explore the room and empty a Kong whilst we chatted - she actually suggested letting him walk around before I could ask! She took all my questions in her stride (in fact I didn't have to ask half of them because she had it covered), and when we said we wanted her to be the one to do as much with Raiden as possible before and after his neuter, she said she can be the one that does EVERYTHING with him. She also said we are more than welcome to be the ones to restrain and distract him when he gets the first injection before the neuter :)

I've never let any of my dogs be treated in the back room...the number of vets who have treated them badly when I was present makes me really concerned about how they would treat them without me there. I used to be really shy and just go along with whatever the vet said, but I've learnt to speak up more and tell them what my dogs need and what my concerns are. A good vet will listen and do all they can to help...I've never found a vet I trust as much as our current one, she is amazing!
 

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I feel is it unprofessional and unethical to neglect to get permission for every single procedure and prescription. At my vet's office, they ALWAYS ask before doing anything, even if it's the thing I came in there for (usually vaccinations). They do try to upsell me on those "wellness panels" and everything, but I always have the option of saying no. I think you are absolutely right to be upset about this.
 

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Unless it's for an x-ray, or I'm leaving my dogs (or cats) at the vet's to be bordered, or to have surgery... I stay with my dogs. I've seen on t.v. where vets make pet owners wait in another room while they take the dog in for an exam. I wouldn't ever do that, and your experience just cements that notion even more.

It's a hard way to learn a lesson, but next time they figure you should go pay the bill while they 'handle' your dog.....don't do it. There was no reason for you to wait in the lobby while a flea treatment was given, in my opinion.....especially since they also gave the dog a steroid shot.

I also...saw once, on the internet a vet who had that policy of making the owners wait in the other room...and he would hit and abused dogs to make them 'settle down' once he had the pet in the exam room. An assistant he hired was so stunned by his actions that she secretly taped it (this was in the days before cell phone cameras).

Hopefully, for you, the note put in your file will prevent anymore meds being given to your dog without your knowledge. You might also inform your clinic that they could be setting their selves up for a lawsuit someday if they ever did that to someone's dog who might have been in to see a different vet at an earlier date and had been given some medication/steroids - and if the clinic gave the same thing to the dog....because they didn't know about what the other vet clinic had done, due to not asking or telling the owner they were going to give the dog another shot/dose of something, it could be harmful to the dog.

Stormy
 
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this reminds me of the first vet i had for Jessie towards the end! but the vet i have now dr mike been with him since Jessie was a year old now when i make a appointment i dont ask cost because he is fantastic. You go into exam room he asks what the problems are , your concerns, checks dog fully over including full physical exam if treatment needed he will tell you what he plans to do etc and okays with you the treatment. only time i had to leave Jessie at vets was when taking out the stitches from anal gland operation Jessie got extremely distressed with me there went back 30 min later all out and they had no problems with his mum a nurse holding Jessie whilst he took stitches out.

Also i can pop by to get his opinion on Jessie health or skin with no charge at times. he is fantastic. any vet should and will discuss treatment options and plan with you before commiting to it
 
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